Affordability tips for first-time home buyers to securing a mortgage + MORE Oct 29th

Learn more about Canadian mortgage rates, rules and the latest news – read on!
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The Sea Change in Canadian Mortgage Insurance + MORE Dec 2nd

Few realize how dramatically Canada’s mortgage insurance market has changed..... More »

We made money on the Toronto housing market. Now what? Nov 4th

We had a plan. We considered the bank’s low interest rates, the rising real estate prices and record low inventory and thought it was the perfect time to cash in on the Toronto real estate market by moving out of the city. My husband and I were going to move from Ontario to Manitoba, selling our E.... More »

Could a line of credit impact my mortgage application? Nov 16th

Prospective house hunters and those looking to refinance an existing mortgage should consider the impacts of their lines of credit on their mortgage application. That’s because lenders take non-mortgage debt, including line of credit payments, into account when determining how much you can afford .... More »

How a Mortgage Pre-Approval Can Protect You from Rising Rates Nov 1st

In times of steady or declining rates, you barely pay attention to your pre-approval rate. But these days, this rate hold can be a total game-changer..... More »
The best travel credit cards that aren’t travel credit cardsIf we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that things can change quickly. In 2019, travel was a major spending category for Canadians. But in 2020, we were grounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. So, it’s understandable if earning travel rewards aren’t at the top of your priority list. At the same time, you might not want to give up your travel goals entirely. Enter travel card alternatives—credit cards with travel benefits and features that are also useful for other types of spending. In this article, we’ll look at some of the variables to consider when choosing a travel-alt card, using the HSBC line of credit cards as an example. 

What is a travel-alt credit card?

Travel credit card alternatives, or travel-alt credit cards, are cards that offer rewards on travel spending and on other things, too. Traditional travel credit cards (with earning capabilities and rewards toward flights, hotels, cruises, car rentals and experiences like tours) are very popular in Canada…

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Bond yields rocketed higher following today’s Bank of Canada rate decision, making it likely that fixed mortgage rates are about to climb higher.

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What Nobody Is Telling You About Fixed Rate MortgagesMy father keeps the news on constantly. It’s like an addiction, and CP24 is his drug of choice. It hurls bad news all day and all night. Not because it’s helpful, or even that interesting – but because it keeps his eyeballs on the screen. My father isn’t alone. CP24 and other 24-hour news sources are tattooed onto screens across the country.

Unfortunately, a lot of that bad news has to do with the housing market. It seems as though there’s a constant parade of “experts” telling you that we’re in a bubble. To sell now and rent until the market corrects itself. To avoid “risk” and go with a fixed rate mortgage. 

This last myth in particular has gone viral and needs to be dispelled.

On paper, there’s never been a better time to get a fixed rate mortgage. With countless tweets and talking heads warning that rates are bound to skyrocket, it seems like a no brainer. Why wouldn’t you secure a low fixed rate for five years, especially when the economy is so volatile?

In my last article, I told you how dangerous it is to fall into this trap…

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As expected, some major mortgage lenders have started a fresh round of rate hikes following this week’s run-up in bond yields.

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Q. My partner and I rent a two-bedroom apartment in Toronto in a great neighbourhood for $1,850 a month—so, a great deal. We have been living together for three years and would like to buy a house together next year, when we both turn 30.

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We’ve looked around and can probably buy a small bungalow north of Toronto for about $900,000. Since we only earn about $120,000 combined pre-tax, my father has suggested he buy a one-third share of the house outright with $300,000 (name on title for one-third), and then my partner and I can buy the other two-thirds in our name; that would likely mean a mortgage of about $500,000 for us. (We have saved $100,000 for a down payment ourselves.)

Would we be able to use the Home Buyers’ Plan to borrow from our RRSP for a down payment in this case? And would we be able to call the house our principal residence for tax purposes?

Finally, would it be wise to consider an alternative lender for our mortgage, even though our bank would give us a $500,000 mortgage? We’ve checked and the non-bank mortgage interest rates can be as much as 0…

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